Safety in Sport Focus Group FAQs

Aug 25, 2023

Why are we running focus groups?

We’re working on creating a new way for people to raise concerns and complain about harmful behaviours in sport in British Columbia. We want to listen to a wide range of people who might use this new process in the future so that we build a system everyone trusts and feels safe using.

Who would we like to hear from?

We would like to hear from people who participate in any way in sport through designated provincial sport organizations and their clubs in British Columbia. A list of designated organizations can be found here: .

When and where will the focus groups happen?

Now What Facilitation will run five focus groups for viaSport, and we will do our best to group participants with other people who have similar roles in sport (for example, athletes with other athletes). All of the focus groups will take place virtually, using Zoom.

  • Tue Sep 12, 2023 @ 6:00pm-7:30pm
  • Fri Sep 15, 2023 @ 12pm-1:30pm
  • Sat Sep 16, 2023 @1:00pm-2:30pm
  • Tues Sep 19, 2023 @ 12:00pm-1:30pm
  • Wed Sep 20, 2023 @ 6:00pm-7:30pm

What questions will we ask?

We’re focused on understanding what would make you comfortable coming forward with a concern using a new process. The questions we will ask are:

  1. What is the best way to communicate with you about new initiatives like this?
  2. Who would you go to if you had a concern or a complaint about you or someone else being harmed in a sport?
  3. What would make you comfortable coming forward with a complaint to a new independent service?
  4. What might make you hesitate to contact a complaints service if you had a complaint?
  5. What could this service do to earn your confidence?
  6. What else should we consider when building this new complaint service?

How long will it take and who will I be talking to?

The focus groups will last for 90 minutes, and you will be part of a group with up to 8 people from diverse backgrounds who are involved in sport in a similar role to you (for example, athletes with other athletes). 

The groups will be organized and facilitated by Now What Facilitation. The discussions will be managed according to the following group guidelines:

  • Ask for clarification before assuming another person’s intent
  • Be polite, respectful and patient
  • Be curious; seek to understand rather than persuade
  • Own your intention and impact
  • Invite and honour diversity of opinion 
  • Refer to people and groups by the names and pronouns they prefer

Whatever you share will not be traced back to you

We’re trying to understand people’s needs from as many perspectives as possible. We appreciate your candid insights and will ensure that it will not be traceable back to you or your organization whenever data is shared beyond the people in your focus group. Please note that if information is shared related to a criminal act at any point, the facilitators have a duty to report.

We will digitally record the audio from each focus group because your input is important to us and we want to ensure it is reflected accurately. Information will be anonymized and no names will be used when the focus group results are reported. 

How will your privacy be protected?

All private information and recordings will be stored in a secure location and will be password protected. Only people involved in the project will have access to the digital recordings. Data from your Expression of Interest form and the digital recordings of the focus groups will be stored for up to one year and will then be deleted.

How will we use the information you give us?

We will have someone in each focus group taking notes about what is said without recording any names or identifying information. After all of the focus groups are finished, we will summarize all of the notes for each question into our overall findings. We will use these findings to help us create a new process for complaints about behaviour in sport that is user-friendly and trustworthy.

We will share our findings with all of the focus group participants, as well as with those who are involved with the project. Other people will see the gist of what you’ve said but they won’t know who said it. Ultimately, we may write reports or articles about this process and any outcomes of the work – but, again, nothing identifying will be included.

What are the benefits or risks?

You’ll be asked to share about your ideas about feeling safe raising a concern, so it’s always possible this could surface some uncomfortable feelings. If that happens, you can take a break or leave the conversation, and we will provide information on how to access mental health services that could support you.

The information you give will help us create the best possible experience for people who use the new complaint process in the future. By talking to people across the province and from all levels and roles within sport, we’ll better understand what everyone needs from a new complaints process so we can try to build a solution to meet those needs.

We will offer an honorarium of $100 to people who participate in the discussion, to recognize the value of your time and perspective. 

How can you sign up?

If you’re interested in taking part, you can complete the Expression of Interest form.

We strongly believe diversity enhances our ability to address challenges and develop creative solutions. To ensure each focus group represents a diverse range of perspectives, we kindly ask you to self-identify in various areas of diversity on the Expression of Interest form. Your responses will be kept confidential and will only be used to form inclusive focus groups with similar participant roles.
We will let you know by September 5th which focus group you have been invited to and we will share the meeting link. If we have more people interested than spots available, we will prioritize forming groups based on similar participant roles and diversity in our selection process.